Sunderland Echo

Region praised for ‘nailing’ vaccinatio­ns

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has hailed the region for the way it has rolled out the coronaviru­s vaccinatio­n programme.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing yesterday evening, Mr Hancock thanked volunteers and NHS staff in the North East for their work.

He was asked if the national vaccinatio­n strategy is designed for the

South, as “people in the North are still having to travel more than 40 miles in some case” to get their jab done.

But Mr Hancock said supply challenges are “faced equally throughout the whole of the UK”.

He said :“Every single persongett­ing access to their jab in the North East is as important as in every other part of the country and I will make sure that the programme delivers according to those principle.

“I don’t know what more I can say about my enthusiasm for what the North East has done and really, really nailed it in this vaccinatio­n programme so far.”

Dr Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser at Public Health England, also praised the vaccine roll-out in the North East.

She said: “The North East has been achieving over and above what the rest of the country has done.

“It’s fantastic news.

“Everywhere is going to get vaccine and everywhere will be able to deliver the vaccine to all of those from 1 to 9 (priority groups) over the coming weeks.”

He added that a pilot‘ NHS reserves’ scheme was currently under way to see how those who had volunteere­d to support the vaccine programme could be deployed in the future.

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